It feels like we are a nation of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). When will it be enough? How can we stop the tide of violence in America? Is peace an ignorant, forgotten relic of a dream from our past? Why so much unrest in America?
These spikes in our country’s tumultuous times make us fret. Look at what our children can see on television, on the Internet. Are we supposed to live in fear? Lock all the doors and hide?
I’m not the sort to be one of those gawkers or ‘rubberneckers’ at a freeway accident. Just as I am not likely to Google or tune in to news sources for details about the latest mass shooting or carnage. I get the gist from the headlines, teases and unavoidable cooler talk. I’m disappointed in how the media cold-heartedly disseminates information like subjects of a Don Henley song. And maudlin.
Media is self-serving, even though they serve a purpose. Don’t sit around a coffee table sipping coffee and shaking your head while taking a moment to stare at the camera as if you commiserate with me.
It feels like speaking out as just one person goes nowhere. Seems like there’s millions of message boards on the Internet, places like newspapers to opine. And most of us agree bad men will do bad things with weaponry that can be used to either kill or save us. We want it to stop but it doesn’t feel like our government is able to enact policy or remedies. Protesting seems pointless, and sometimes, undesirable. We get nowhere.
I’ve been on the other side of social injustice. Sometimes, I unwittingly provoke it. Misunderstanding, rising anxiety, no leaders to help resolve burning issues fester the minds that need a salve of education.
Maybe we’re heading away from democracy and toward a police state, as our country tries to justify the need for control in our part of the world. And yet, we are not as bad as some of the other countries that do exercise restraint and get push back way worse than here.
I think our president could step up and address the nation on violence. It would likely be controversial and stir debate, because we want less government control not more. We need a leader to lift us, remind us to be strong.
As parents, it’s time to sit down our kids and have an honest talk about the world today. But too many of us can’t wrap our heads around it. What to say? Assure them this is a great country with great opportunities. People are trying to take our freedoms away. We have to be steadfast in our beliefs, need to teach ourselves well, learn and remember how and why this great country was founded. Tuck them in at night, say a prayer if that helps. This is more than a bumpy ride. Strap them in, kiss them and hope for the best.
We can never get down or blame one another. We should be checking on our neighbors, spreading good cheer. Don’t lock yourself away. Lend them your eyes and ears. We lock arms and unify in our nation’s core beliefs.
What’s unfortunate is we put too much stock in sports, entertainment, distraction, the latest fads and what a dysfunctional family like the Kardashians is doing. We are so obsessed with putting up walls that we’ve drowned out those things we need to pay attention to.
Tear down the walls of indifference. Really consider the avenues through organizations that do good, spread peace. Even if it’s through a local church. Participate until you are satisfied you are earning the reward for your freedom. Count your blessings while you’re at it.
Politics are cartoonish and divide. You almost want to ignore it. We have to push for change, for REAL dialogue. Stop letting government run over us with policy and support visions for a more hopeful tomorrow. Perhaps, we feel cut off, left out. Leadership is needed, too. Not saying we need more politicians, just more voices to unify and keep it real.
Most of all, we can’t let them wear us down. We cannot let hate become justified by those who carry out violent acts of any type. We need to come from a place of love and patience. If we tune this out, it doesn’t go away. It only gets louder. Let’s not become desensitized, as we nostalgically reminisce about a time when innocence was revered as greatly as our freedom.
Brian Keith Compton is a contributor here: